While the sign still hangs in front of the Marina staple, La Barca, the longtime Mexican restaurant is no more. Instead the space on Lombard Street is home to Stock in Trade, a brand-new tavern with seating for 140 that opened in February. And, on a recent Friday night, every corner of the spacious bar and restaurant was hopping.
Stock in Trade opens to a giant, U-shaped bar and mega flat-screen TVs turned to whichever sporting event is hot; Giants fans already love the place. There’s also a dining area that features an indoor bocce ball court and a private dining room. The fun, eclectic menu has everything from bacon-caramel popcorn to salads, sliders and burgers, along with more substantial fare. Of course there is an ample selection of wine and beer from around the world in addition to cocktails.
But more than a bar, Stock in Trade has two young San Francisco culinary stars as its chefs. Executive chef Jake Kwan-Rosenbush grew up cooking alongside his mother in Mill Valley, refining his technique at Tante Marie’s culinary school, and beginning his career as a chef at Gary Danko. Consulting chef Maximille DiMare learned to cook with his grandmother in Boston and earned his chops as executive chef at Frascati on Russian Hill before moving to the acclaimed Wood Tavern in Oakland.
If you’re looking for sharable bar snacks, you can’t go wrong at Stock in Trade. Bar-goers at any hour, but especially night owls, will appreciate munchies like crispy, skinny fries with bacon aioli, The Pickles Jar with ranch dip, and coconut bean dip with corn chips. For those who want a meal, there’s a healthful farmer’s salad with mixed mesclun, spiced nuts, Gorgonzola, cranberry, apple, and sherry vinaigrette; coriander-seared ahi tuna with roasted, marinated beets; shrimp and grits with Gulf prawns and chorizo (inspired by Kwan-Rosenbush’s recent trip to the South); and hot wings with pickles, celery and blue cheese sauce. Carnivores will delight in lamb or smoked beef brisket sliders; and of course, a house-ground Angus burger on an Acme bun; and a bacon burger with house-cut Kennebec fries.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, splurge on the Super Carny Funnel Cake with whipped cream, caramelized pears, rum caramel, and tons of powered sugar; the chocolate cake with mint-chocolate ice cream and chocolate ganache; or the decadent bacon-crusted ice cream sandwich with toasted almond brittle chocolate chip cookie. These guys sure know how to mix sweet and savory to the best effect!
Brunch offers more delights, from peach “lemonade” with Seagram’s peach-tea vodka, house-made lemonade and a splash of iced tea, to a breakfast burrito with chorizo and black beans; and breakfast poutine with fries, cheese curds, bacon, brown chicken gravy, and a poached egg.
Come for a drink, play some bocce ball or just let your taste buds ramble over the menu. Stock in Trade is certainly the place to rally.
Stock in Trade: 2036 Lombard Street (at Fillmore), 415-829-3000, stockintradesf.com, daily, 5 p.m.–2 a.m.